Posted in depression, Life

World Suicide Prevention Day

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255 

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.  I have long been an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. I was online doing some research in preparation for this post and I came across some horrifying statistics.   

Why do I support Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention?  See the statistics below and you’ll see why I feel that this is SO important.  Most of the information in the paragraph below came from the website SAVE.ORG.  This site is a wealth of information for those dealing with mental health issues and its aftermath.  Please take a few minutes to browse the site.

Every day, approximately 130 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

There is one death every 11 minutes in the U.S. by suicide. (CDC)

Suicide takes the lives of over 48,500 Americans every year. (CDC) 

Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.   

These are just a few of the facts surrounding suicide rates.  There are many more, each, seemingly more horrific than the last.  These are the reasons I support awareness efforts.  

I’ve seen first hand what Depression and Mental illness can do to your loved ones and just how dangerous it can be if left unchecked.  Please take a look at my Mental Health Help Page HERE. There is a LOT of information there for you, your loved ones, or anyone that is simply interested in becoming more aware.  I’ve created lots of links that will take you directly to helpful websites and phone numbers that can be helpful as well.  There are also many articles that I’ve added to that page for you to browse through. 

Depression is the leading cause of suicide worldwide.  

Look at this list of names. I’m sure you’ll recognize several of them:  Kurt Cobain-Musician, Ernest Hemingway-Writer, Margaux Hemingway-Ernest’s granddaughter, Margot Kidder-Actress (played Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie), Edward Platt-Actor, Freddie Prinz-Actor, George Reeves-Actor (played Superman in the 1950’s), Kerry Vo Erich-Writer, Robin Williams-Actor, Mark Salling-Actor (played on the TV show Glee), Virginia Woolf-Writer, Sylvia Plath-Writer, Vincent Van Gogh-Artist. What do these names all have in common?  We lost each of these people to suicide.

I could have listed thousands and thousands of “famous” people, but I don’t have the time or the room for such an exhaustive list! I think I’ve made my point. 

If you have any information that you feel would be of benefit to be added to my Mental Health Help Page, or if you just need someone’s ear to bend, please, reach out to me using my Contact Page HERE.  

Please, let’s do what we can to END the stigma of Mental Illness and open our hearts to those that need the support of each of us.  We’re all in this together.  No one gets out alive.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Posted in depression

Depression-You’re Not Alone

Depression can make you feel very alone. While we know there are other people out there that suffer from depression, that doesn’t make it any easier. We isolate ourselves, deny that there is anything wrong, and generally cannot see a way out of it. Too often, individuals that suffer from depression do not seek the help they need. While the reasons vary, one of the main reasons for not seeking help is the Stigma associated with Depression.

People feel guilty. They’ve been told to “snap out of it”, or “get over it”, or any number of other things that dismiss what they are going thru. Those people have no idea how dangerous and debilitating depression can be.

If you suffer from depression, please know that you are Not Alone. In fact, you are in good company. After doing a little research, I found an abundance of names that most of us will recognize that suffer from depression. Here’s a partial list:

Demi Lovato, Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie, Chrissy Teigan, Kristen Bell, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lady Gaga, Jon Hamm, Bruce Springsteen, Wayne Brady, Serena Williams, Gina Rodriguez and Katy Perry.

I’m sure you will recognize at least a few names on this list. These are people that admit publicly that they do suffer from Depression. While these “beautiful people” may seem like they have the perfect life, the reality is that they are just like us. They have the same struggles and insecurities that we do.

My first advice, always, if you think you might need help getting through your depression, is to reach out to someone. Anyone. Let someone know how you feel. There is help. You don’t have to do this alone. You’re NOT alone in your struggle.

THIS is a page with a lot of different resources, different ways that you can find help. You may find something on this page that is helpful.

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson

*With the upcoming Suicide Prevention Day, I feel it is important to repeat some of my older posts on Mental Health Awareness.  Thank you for joining me on this journey. Penny ❤

Posted in depression

Depression and Denial

It’s like it’s a scar that must be hidden. Like some dirty secret.  An ugly sweater you keep in the back of the closet and only bring it out when that aunt comes to visit.  You hide it.  You deny it, even to yourself.

There are the days when you tell yourself “I’m ok”, as you look in the mirror.  You do what you have to do to to get through the next moment, the next hour, the next day.

But you’re not ok and you know it.  Your sleeping too much.  You’re avoiding any social interaction, isolating yourself.  Things that normally bring you joy, no longer do.  There is this dark cloud over everything in your life.

Why do people that are depressed deny it?  The answer is complicated.  Often, the person going through the depression is embarrassed.  They want to appear “normal”.  They don’t want people to think there is something wrong with them.  There is such a stigma attached to depression and other forms of mental illness that the person hides it from those around them and even from themselves.

Sometimes, they don’t know that they’re depressed.  They know something’s not right, but they don’t recognize it.  Depression is a sneaky thief.  It sneaks in under the radar and robs you of the joy in your life.

What can you do if you see that a loved one is depressed but they deny it?  Be there for them.  Listen, talk, check-in with them.  Take that extra minute, make that phone call, or send that text.  Get them out of their isolation.  Take them to lunch, pop in for a quick visit.

Since a depressed person will often isolate themselves, it is incredibly important to BE THERE, not just physically, but emotionally.  Be supportive, encouraging and most of all, be caring.  They won’t want your attention, at least not outwardly.  They will push you away and try to discourage you, telling you that they are fine that nothing is wrong.

Encourage that loved one to seek help.  If you are sure that they need help, don’t give up.  Don’t turn your back on them.  BE THERE for them.  You might just save a life.

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255

A terrific website on this can be found HERE.

There is a site specifically to help our veterans.  Find that site HERE.

Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

Want to do an online chat?  There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.

You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention.

This is a British number to help Children in crisis.  08001111

Copyright (C) 2019 Penny Wilson

I know this is a repeat. But some things are important to repeat.  This subject is one of those. Thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny

Posted in depression, Life

Doing What You Can & Your Personal Well-Being

I was seriously hoping to travel to Oregon to see my BFF and a brother this year. I haven’t seen my BFF in ages and my brother is getting up in years, so it’s important to SEE these people.

I think about these, relatively speaking, small inconveniences, and several emotions rush over me.  Pain, hopelessness, helplessness and sorrow. I find myself grieving for a world that seems, every day, to be pushed further off the edge of the cliff, about to fall into the vast abyss of extinction. 

It’s hard to reconcile what’s happening in the world right now, not just with COVID, but the natural disasters, wars, etc. I shake my head in disbelief, realizing that we are indeed living through unprecedented times. 

What to do? 

You can either let this kind of situation destroy you, or you can deal with it. There are several ways to deal with it. First of all, you must do your best to carve out a small piece of beauty, positivity, or love.  Your immediate space, your well being, is the first and foremost of importance. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. 

I live a very quiet life. Therefore, isolation is probably not as difficult for me as it is for others. I do my best to find pleasure in the simple things. I spend time in the back yard puttering around in my flower beds. I play with my dog. I have craft projects and household DIY projects that never seem to end. And I go back and forth from home to work and back again. 

Turn off the media! I understand wanting to keep up with friends, or current events, but a constant barrage of the news and misinformation will do nothing good for you. Take it in small doses. I listen to just a little bit of the news in the morning, until the weather forecast comes on.  Then I shut it off. In that few minutes, I have heard enough of the major headlines that I need to hear. The rest, I don’t need.  

Be prepared. Have at least a 3 day supply of emergency food and water on hand for each person in your household, for those unexpected disasters. Floods, tornados, hurricanes, etc., etc. These are just a few things that could happen to any one of us! This a wonderful website for information. 

Want to help?  Wanting to help can be an overwhelming feeling, the helplessness is massive. Do what you can. There as SO many things that simply cannot be controlled by you or me. Even the smallest of things can make an impact. Donate to a homeless shelter, sew masks for those that are without, or volunteer at a local food bank. Check with your local library, community center or schools to find out what is needed in your area. BE THERE for that friend or loved one that needs an ear to bend or a shoulder to lean on. These seem miniscule, but they MATTER.  

Talk to someone!  This is probably the most important thing you can do for your own well being. If you are down, depressed, just having a hard time coping with things these days, you’re certainly not alone. You need to be able to express these feelings. Find someone that you can confide in. A friend, relative, someone at your church, etc. If you simply don’t have anyone that you can talk to, there are a number of resources that are to be found. Below are a few:

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255

A terrific website on this can be found HERE.

There is a site specifically to help our veterans.  Find that site HERE.

Is talking to someone too much for you? It was for me in the past. There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

Want to do an online chat? There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.

You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention.

This is a British number to help Children in crisis.  0800111

My page on Mental Health Help can be found HERE, if you would like to read more on this subject. 

I didn’t intend to get so long-winded here, but I felt that there is so much that needs to be shared. I could go on and on! I hope that something I said here may have sparked something in you. Hopefully something that will help you deal with what ever difficulty you are having right now.  I know it’s of small consolation, but you are not alone in this. 

Take care and stay safe out there. Thank you for joining me on this journey. Penny ❤ 

Copyright (C) 2021 Penny Wilson

Posted in depression, Life

Focus on mental health: A Minnesotan writes about her depression — Minnesota Prairie Roots

REBLOG: Don’t miss this important and informative piece!

ARE YOU STRUGGLING with everyday tasks? Unable to get out of bed? Feeling hopeless? Overwhelmed? You are not alone. I think all of us have struggled during this past pandemic year. Maybe not to the extent of the challenges listed, but in other ways. It’s been a lot. I’m thankful that, if anything good comes […]

Focus on mental health: A Minnesotan writes about her depression — Minnesota Prairie Roots
Posted in depression, Poetry

Undertow

Pulled 
down

Swallowed 
whole  

Grayscale  

devoid of life  
anesthetized  

Undertow 
claws
clutches 
as I flail  

Tenacity 
keeps me 
afloat  

Gasping for air 
struggling 
toward life 
toward tomorrow 
toward the faith 
that buoys 
my soul

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad from Pexels
*All is well, my friends.  Just descriptive creativity.  Better today than yesterday.  Better tomorrow than today.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.  ❤  Penny
 
Posted in depression, Life

Ebb and Flow

The ebb and flow of life.  We all deal with it.  We all have trials and tribulations.  It’s part of our journey here.  Some days, I’m engulfed in the undertow, my feet being sucked down into the muck and the mud.  On these days, it’s hard to see the sunshine on the surface of the water.  I’ve been dealing with some personal issues and think I’m beginning to see the light.

Our winter has been uncommonly wet.  Until this last bit of dry weather, the weatherman said that we’ve only had, at most, 5 consecutive days of no rain, for months now.  Grey and gloomy skies.  Having no sun really can make a difference!

I know when my depression rears it’s ugly head.  I’ve battled the beast long enough to know it’s M.O.  Although not an easy thing to do, I went to my doctor and had an honest discussion with her about how I’ve been feeling.  Reaching out for help is the hardest part of battling depression.  But I know I have to.  I’m very lucky to have a doctor that I adore.  She’s wonderful.  The type of person I would like to be friends with.  Even with this knowledge, depression is a sneaky bastard.  It took me more than a month to set the appointment.

On the day of my appointment, while sitting in the waiting room, I almost bolted for the door.  It’s hard to describe.  But it’s like I’m have a battle, an argument with this…. being.  I KNOW what I SHOULD do, but the beast will argue with me, justify its actions and what usually happens is… nothing.  Depression can paralyze you.  You continue to put off getting help.  You don’t tell anyone how you’re feeling.  You isolate yourself to avoid uncomfortable situations.  So it’s even easier for the beast to dig its heels in and really mess with your head.  You isolate yourself more, becoming more depressed.  The more depressed you become, the more you isolate yourself.  Even KNOWING all of the ugly beast’s tricks, I still fall for them.

I feel better just having been able to Voice my concerns with someone.  I know I’m not out of the deep end yet, but there is hope.  I’m swimming toward that sunshine on the surface above me and it’s getting closer.

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson

*If you or someone you love is struggling with depression or other mental health issues, I invite you to look over my Mental Health Help Page which can be found HERE.  On this page, you will find several links on ways to get help.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  ❤ Penny

Posted in depression

The Link Between Depression & Suicide

Chain, Chain Link, Connection, Related

Although a gloomy subject, I continue to write about Depression and it’s horrifying effects, for this reason:

60% of suicides are due to a history of struggle with Depression.  Every day 121 Americans commit suicide.  One person every 40 seconds, worldwide, will commit suicide. 

These are frightening statistics, right?  Below is a partial list of some names you may recognize that committed suicide.

Robin Williams, R. Bud Dwyer, Evelyn McHale, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Freddie Prinze, George Reeves.

Only when the stigma ends.  Only when there is no longer any shame or guilt associated with depression will this horror end.  If you know someone that is struggling, reach out to them.  Talk to them.  Check in to see if they are alright.  Sometimes all it takes is extending a kindness, for those to see that they are not alone, that someone cares.  It can make all the difference in the world.  It may save a life.

If you are seeking help, please check out my Mental Health Help Page HERE.

 

 

 

Posted in depression

Depression-You’re Not Alone

Depression can make you feel very alone. While we know there are other people out there that suffer from depression, that doesn’t make it any easier. We isolate ourselves, deny that there is anything wrong, and generally cannot see a way out of it. Too often, individuals that suffer from depression do not seek the help they need. While the reasons vary, one of the main reasons for not seeking help is the Stigma associated with Depression.

People feel guilty. They’ve been told to “snap out of it”, or “get over it”, or any number of other things that dismiss what they are going thru. Those people have no idea how dangerous and debilitating depression can be.

Continue reading “Depression-You’re Not Alone”